You know how sometimes you are exposed to the same sort of theme over a period of time? For example, you may be worried about a family member who is ill. While attending church on Sunday morning, your pastor will preach a sermon centering around Matthew 6:34. On Monday morning you read your morning devotional which has the title "Fear not." On Tuesday your friend asks you to go to a bookstore with her. While there, the first book you notice on display is "Overcoming Fear, Worry, & Anxiety." Then you're at the grocery store on Wednesday, & wait ... what's that song you hear playing over the store's speaker system? It's Bobby McFerrin singing "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"
God is trying to tell you something : )
I looked up the synonyms for fear, worry, & anxiety. They reference each other. They are all the same thing.
The Bible is filled with verses where God is telling us to "fear not," "do not worry," & "do not be anxious." I read a quote recently by Isobel Kuhn who served as a missionary in China from 1928-1950. Mrs. Kuhn said "The only fear a Christian should entertain is the fear of sin. All other fears are from Satan sent to confuse & weaken us."
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a Welsh protestant minister from 1927-1968, said "I do not care what the circumstances may be, the Christian should never get agitated...never be beside himself...never be at wit's end...It implies a lack of trust & confidence in Him."
Trust is what it's all about. We have no reason to fear, worry, or be anxious if we truly trust God & believe what He says in the Bible. If your adult son & his friends are determined to drive 200 miles in what is predicted to be bad weather to attend a concert of some sort, you should not worry about what could happen but instead pray, place their safety in God's hands, & trust Him whatever the outcome. If you find a suspicious lump in your breast, you should not worry about what could happen but instead pray & make an appointment with your doctor, trusting God whatever the outcome. If your husband loses his job, you should not worry about what could happen but instead pray as he seeks alternate employment & trust God to provide.
Concern for these things is not a sin, but dwelling on them ... allowing your concern to grow into hours/days/weeks/months of fear, worry, & anxiety ... is. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones said, "It implies a lack of trust & confidence in Him."
I am not fearful, worried, or anxious about anything in my life right now but I know that these emotions are lurking right outside my door. For this reason, it is good to memorize Bible verses. Psalm 119:11 says "I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You." When we memorize verses from God's Word, the Holy Spirit will cause them to come to our mind when fear, worry, anxiety, or any other negative emotion is attacking us.
What prompted me to write this blog post this morning was a song I listened to yesterday while revising my DMC floss storage system. I hate how it turned out, by the way, so I will be revising it again today if not going back to the old system. Lots of work involved here, but that's a story for another blog post : ) Anyway, I was listening to a CD of old gospel songs ... "Sunday with Jim Reeves & Eddy Arnold." Most of you are probably saying "Who?" These were popular singers back in the 1950s. I'm told that when I was a baby, I would be mesmerized when Eddy Arnold was singing on TV, & that when he was no longer visible, I would cry! He is a great singer, but I don't think he holds a candle to Jim Reeves. Jim Reeves has the smoothest, most calming, pleasant voice I have ever heard. This CD included a song of his that I hadn't heard for many, many years. Decades probably! I was overjoyed to hear it again. It's called "Where Do I Go From Here?" I am sharing with you the only YouTube video I have found. The words appear below.
Where do I go from here?
What fate is drawing hear?
Touch my heart & guide my lips in prayer.
Through the grace of God alone
I'll cast aside these fears I've known
& lift myself from the depths of deep despair.
Lead me through the darkness
& through each gloomy day.
Take my hand, oh, precious Lord,
& help me on my way.
Give me strength that I might find
Abiding faith & peace of mind
& I won't ask where do I go from here.
Incidentally, I know nothing about the book I mentioned above, "Overcoming Fear, Worry, & Anxiety," except is was a good title for my subject : ) I'm guessing it's a good book as it has a 5-star rating on Amazon.com. You can find it here if you are interested.
I wish you a very happy & blessed Sunday!